I had been warned before coming to China that real coffee was hard to find, and quite expensive. Those who know me and my caffeine dependency might have wondered how I would survive.

I arrived here in Shenzhen with a pound of espresso-ground coffee from Starbucks in Santa Barbara and an Aerobie Aeropress. Unfortunately I left the measuring scoop behind, so I had to wait until breakfast this morning, when I was able to grab a few (disposable) soup spoons. Finally, before settling down to work back in the hotel this afternoon, I made the first cup of coffee that I’ve had since I arrived here.
The Aeropress works beautifully. I had calibrated the kettle, so that I knew how long it would take to get close to the magic 175°F. (They recommend “three-quarters of the time to bring to the boil”.) I think I used a bit less coffee than I should have (what’s “two scoops” in Chinese soup-spoons?), but I followed the directions exactly, and the result was excellent: smooth, great flavour, no bitterness, good colour, perfect crema. The trick is in keeping the pressure gentle, and not rushing it. And clean-up is trivial.
Highly recommended. With any luck, my blood-caffeine level should now be inching towards the “operating” range….